September 29, 2023

Earlier within the 12 months, I made a decision to show a Speedhunting journey all the way down to Hiroshima into a bit vacation with my companion.

At one level throughout the getaway we discovered ourselves in a flowery little bistro which seated all of 10 prospects and served delicate dishes in fast succession. Being extra of a ramen and faucet beer bloke I felt a bit out of my depth, however when the chef requested if we knew in regards to the automotive museum on Kurahashi-jima, I used to be shortly introduced again into my consolation zone. A automotive museum on an island? Now that wanted some investigation.


A fast search on Google Maps unearthed the F.H.Royce Museum. Photos of basic automobiles, chandeliers, an opulent gold-trimmed chaise and an proprietor who regarded a bit like a wax dummy from Madame Tussauds, meant a highway journey was inevitable.


The journey all the way down to the south coast of Kurahashi-jima is price it only for the surroundings. Archipelagoes spanned with suspension bridges, dotted with fishing villages and inhabited by eagles and hawks – it was breathtaking.


As we quickly discovered, the F.H.Royce Museum itself doubles as a restaurant and lodge, and even has its personal non-public seashore.


Inside, you’ll discover an extravagant, fluorescent pink-embellished ballroom and a lounge stuffed from ceiling to wall with mannequin automobiles of all makes and fashions. It’s completely excessive, however completely superb on the identical time.


Is that Dominic Toretto’s Charger on high of an ornate vintage buffet?


Sadly, the museum’s eccentric proprietor, Mr. Hidenori Hayashi, was unable to satisfy with me – I’d have actually cherished to satisfy the person that constructed this place – however a member of his employees (totally tuxedoed up with pink uwabaki, I would add) was readily available to provide us a bit tour.


I’ll admit, a lot of the data he advised me went in a single ear and out the opposite; a burble of dates and manufacturing numbers that had been unimaginable to recollect.


However amidst all of the basic and classic equipment sat one thing a lot completely different. The elephant within the room was a bippu (VIP) model 1996 Bentley Continental R.


Positive, the museum assortment was just about all Rolls-Royces and Bentleys and this was one of many latter, but it surely positively got here as a shock. Or possibly it shouldn’t have given what I had already seen elsewhere within the venue.

This specific Continental R was one in every of that final coach-built automobiles to go away the Mulliner Parks Ward manufacturing unit in Willesden, London. However it’s what was carried out to the enormous coupé after it left the UK that’s essential right here.


Someday throughout its life in Japan, this Bentley was given the suitable royal wide-body therapy. Customized vented fenders have added 140mm, pushing out the automotive’s general width to a maniacal 2.01m (6.6ft).


However not solely has it gone out, it’s additionally gone down – approach down over big 22-inch wheels.


They are saying it’s all within the particulars although, so I hope you’ve seen the embossed Bentley emblem on the boot, the jewel-encrusted badges, the smoked headlights, fake stacked exhaust ideas and a sprinkling of LED lights for some further sparkle.


Now, I’m certain a lot of you’re questioning the worth of such a distinctive styling selection. I’m too, and I wonder if having the one one in every of one thing goes to drive the desirability of this automotive, or whether or not it implies that there’s just one for a motive. I’ll allow you to determine.


Mr. Hayashi clearly loves this factor, therefore why he added it to his assortment. He additionally drives the bippu Bentley recurrently, which is superior.


One factor is for sure although, for those who’re ever going to discover a automotive like this in a spot like this, it’s going to be in Japan.

Toby Thyer
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